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The ultimate front end rebuild thread...
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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-05-14 7:58 PM (#540028)
Subject: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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Part 1:

Okay after hunting and hunting through threads I wanted to summarize my experience.  This kind of sucks that I wont be able to edit this post but hey...

I have a 57 Royal(sticking a 392 hemi in it, the 325 was locked up) etc etc. Tore it down, wanted to rebuild the entire front end.  I am also adding power steering and power disc brakes.

So... I am ordering new on everything I can pretty much, blasting and painting anything being reused.  This should be exact for 57-58 Dodge, Plymouth and Desoto firesweep, the larger chrysler cars use different parts but similar process.

Parts involved so far:

1. Upper and lower ball joints (Moogs)

2. Upper and lower contral arm bushings (AC Delco)

3. Front stabilizer bar bushings(improved design, poly)  Moog?

4. Inner tie rods  (pst)

5. Outer tie rods (bernbaums)

6. Tie rod sleeves (Moogs)

7. Idler arm bushing (ACDelco-Improved its a poly and sold out now, have to get ball bearing from ebay now).

8. Center link(Repainting, not supposed to be a wear item).

9. Pitman arm(reusing, not a wear item).  and big nut on steerin column

10. Shocks KYB's from rockauto for 130$

11. Disc brake "adapter" from Scarebird,  AAJ is also a nice piece.  I am upgrading to 15 inch rims though

12. Power Steering column/setup

13. Power brake booster(tba).

14. Repainting torsion bars, torsion bar tensioning bolts

15. misc retaining clips, bolts and nuts.

Tools/Prep and time:

Tools:

Ball Joint socker(don't even think about skipping this one...)

Normal tools, breaker bar etc etc standard, deep and normal sockets, pliers, screwdrivers etc

PB Blaster(rust spray)

Wire brushes, wire wheel on drill

Bushing press tools

2*4 about 3 feet long

Jack(s), stands and chocks

Air or portable impact gun

 

Don't expect this to be done in a day, especially if cleaning/painting things.  Just ordering the parts is a ton of time.  Finding them and verifying and ordering...  

Use normal safety rules of course...

a.  Jack up car, place jackstands just behind fender underneath on frame(both sides).  Be mindful of the transmission cross member, you might be spending alot of time there.  I like to get it high, but its up to you and your setup/tools/comfort, use wheel chocks

b. Wheels off

c. Brakes off, brake line capped.  Be mindful of how where setup.  Take a pic.

 This was the starting point for me in pic:

to be continued:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Edited by mikes2nd 2017-05-14 8:06 PM




(325Poly.jpg)



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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-05-15 11:52 PM (#540118 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: RE: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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Okay Part 2: 

Also note lug nuts are reverse thread for the drivers side!

Another tool needed: a mini sledge would help.

You can get ball joint socket on ebay(snap on or various makes) or amazon for 20$ Sunex 10213 1-59/64-Inch Ball Joint Socket                              

 

A quick note on parts also(Bernbaums sells a complete kit for these cars and includes (250$ and 270$)

FRONT END KIT
Kit includes: 2 upper ball joints, 2 lower ball joints, 4 upper control arm bushings, 2 lower control arm bushings, 2 strut arm bushings, 2 outer tie rod ends.

You need the inner tie rods and your pretty good to go, i went piece meal because i grabbed the moog ball joints first then later saw the bernbaums kits. But I didnt mind since i want the best stuff i could get.

I think bernbaums is fine but I wanted the "professional" and upgraded parts if I could get them.  I don't know what ball joints he uses so he might be using moogs, then im an idiot.

 

I will go through the parts first that are easy swaps and require no real explanation:

The straight forward easy parts:

    a. Shocks(one bolt at the bottom, nut at the top, off they come).  The KYB will require some cutting on the top shock mount bushing.  the front shock seems tiny(I may beef these up later) but I got  the KYB's Gas A Justs

          People seem to buy the Monroes(i will never buy a monroe shock in my life again), Gabriels, or Kybs.  Just get the KYB's.   KYB rear is KYB KG5511 (rockauto 31$) KYB Front - KG4507  (27.99$) and i got rebate of 40$ back(KYB seems to run rebates all the time).  Gabriels are list as "economy" the               KYBs are "enhanced"

    b. Front stabilizer bar bushings(improved design, poly)  Rockauto 16$ for the set....  Rare Parts price for the same moog part... 41$...  :wince:  I would lube these up pretty well.

         MOOG K7039 {#2084045} Info    
        Front; IMPROVED DESIGN Eurethane.
   
Onto the more complicated.  I will attempt to do this in order:
 
STEPS:   if responding please refer to "step 1... step 2"... etc
1. Clean undercoating/oil from end of bolts/nuts,  spray everything you can and keep spraying(for days if you can) with PB Blaster or whatever rust parts remover you have(I like Kroil and PB the best or make your own, with ATF and Kerosene, see youtube, can save you alot if you use tons).
   Spray torsion torque arm bolt(up inside transmission mount- one big bolt on each side, you will need a small wire brush to get to these, torsion bar housing sockets(front and rear), (ball joint-tie rod ends-center link-shocks-control arm-stab bar-bump stop) nuts and exposed bolts.  
2. Brake drums and backings should be off(be very aware of the way the backing was mounted and the pads.  This can be critical, even to where the spings are hooked, take a picture and double check. Brake line capped off so it doesnt empty your brake system.
3. If your car is extremely rusted, I would use a wire brush on the backside of exposed bolts and wire wheel/brush them and then recoat a couple times, this will make your life much easier.
 
 
The real work
 
4. Before you start?  Are you removing the ball joints?  If yes then you might want to take a crack at breaking the upper ball joint now since the car will support you pulling a big breaker bar.  Simply remove the upper ball joint cotter pin and castle nut, Put the castle nut on the end just slighty and use your harbor freight ball joint popper and the impact gun.  The popper is 3/4 inch i think, you can use it the fun way(it goes off like a gun, wear eye protection) or simply put pressure and hit the side of the spindle where the ball joint sits with a hammer, it will boringly pop out).  With the ball joint now lose, use your ball joint removal socket and a big breaker bar and get it moving off, hopefully.  The upper is the easy one since its threads are not sitting in rust.  The lower is a fight since you have to hold the socket and breaker bar "up" against the control arm. Unless you have a brave friend, do this off the car.
 
5. Tie rods, these are easy, pop off the cotter pins, nuts and go to town with the ball joint popper.  Outer tie rods are everywhere, inners are expensive, I had to go to PST for inners(130$ shipped for two, 138$ for one at rare parts! ), outers I got from Bernbaums(38$ each vs Rare Parts at 67$)
    leave the tie rods together and make sure your putting them back with same sizing/angles.  I noticed the bernbaums have a slightly different angle than these stockers, shouldnt matter.
6.  Ball joints, pop them off as in step 4, very simple.  Ball joints K719 and K722 (moogs, 31$ and 15$)  I got all 4 for 70$ shipped at amazon.  Rare parts... like 86 and 28$???  Acdelco pros are 36$ and 28$, I was torn between moog and ac delco pro.
7.  Upper control arm, very simple also, two bolts off the top and it comes off.
8.  Idler arm, simple and straight forward, use the ball joint popper, yank the bolt off and pull it.  (AcDelco poly bushing is gone(oos), bernbaums has a old style rubber for 31$?, ball bearing kit is like 65$?)
9.  pop center link off pittman arm and complete removal of the center link if your repainting, checking etc... 
10. Lower control stabalizer links(big nuts inside front of frame, these are kind of a pain, but keep fighting.
11. While you at it, look back about a foot and youll see the lower control arm nuts on the crossmember, I think its the same socket you just used on the stabilzer bar so take those off if your removing the lower control arm.
12. Lower control arm: 
     a. Jump under the car first and see if you can turn the 15/16 bolts that are farthest outboard underneath on the transmission crossmember(these are you torsion bar tensioning bolts). Youll prob need the breaker bar. these are fine threaded and long.
         There is a round barrell nut up inside the crossmember, I have heard they can "spin", i you slip you hand up in there you can feel it, if it spins put a flat piece of metal at the end of the barrel nut and wedge it.
     b. If your lucky they will simply come off, i had one be a bear and the other came right off after soaking.
     c. There may be a cap in the back of the torsion bar(in the back round mount) pop that out and the clip(pliers)
     d. Now your ready to take the lower control arm off, put the castle nut back on the front control arm bolt sticking out of the cross member and whack it with the mini sledge, use a piece of steel or board or what ever if you want. I just hit it and the control arm and torsion bar should start moving back
     e. Once the steel on steel jolt starts the lower control arm moving, grab a board and place it on the lower control arm tight and hit it with the sledge, this should take the torsion bar back even farther. You can then remove the control arm off the front of the torsion bar.
13. If removing the torsion bar, carefully line it back up in the rear mount and bump it forward with something soft in the rear to move it forward and out, do not scar, drop, nick or damage these. Mark them with tape left and right.
14. Bushing installs, this is a standard deal, THE LOWER CONTROL ARM BUSHING HAS A CLIP IN IT, beware...  That lower bushing is a bear.  Use presses, take it to a shop or use bushing install tools to remove and replace these. The bushing comes out with the nut attached at the rear.
      there are two uppers and one lower  (I got the ACDelco's.  Lowers are ACDELCO Pro 45G9002 @ 9.62$ and uppers are ACDELCO Pro 45G8004 31$ at rockauto,  I got uppers closeout at amazon for 8$ somehow.  Rare parts are 40$ per bushing... 
15. Lower control arm ball joint removal from arms... you will need to support these somehow to get an serious hold on them and huge breaker bar is normally needed.  I heated mine slightly, if you need to also(maybe read info!). I placed a bar through the old upper bushings and mounted it to my hemi          engine to get enough umph to get them off.  I fought with the lowers also.
16. Bump stops are easy enough.  reuse or Bernbaums has them(uppers/lowers for 15$). Rofl rare parts charges 85$ for two uppers.  I think im reusing mine as they are in nice shape.
 
clean it all up, por15 it and reassemble... Thats it. I think. Check the info below on parts.  
 
see info attached.  I will recap my price total later.
 
Just noticed the 250 lbs on the Chrysler ball joints WTF! 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by mikes2nd 2017-05-16 12:02 AM




(lowercontrol.jpg)



(Specs.jpg)



(info.jpg)



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BigBlockMopar
Posted 2017-05-16 2:24 PM (#540166 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...



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Should be noted that the above posted wheel alignment specs are to be used for old bias ply vintage tires only.
Since hardly anyone mounts these tires anymore, wheel alignment should be changed/used for modern radial tires for a safer and better car handling.

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Greg P.
Posted 2017-05-17 12:11 PM (#540233 - in reply to #540166)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...



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Great thread and I think an important one. At least in my own personal experience, a high percentage of the FL cars I have owned were in need of at least some front end work. Worn control arm bushings seem to be the most common problem. I like the idea of doing it all at once, though it is a major pain in the ass job to perform.

I think the procedure you have outlined is a good one. I have a few thoughts that are just my opinion, but based on my personal experience.

I've been using the Gabriel shocks with good results. Not sure what true advantage the KYB shocks would provide.

In my experience, the hardest part of this job is removing the old control arm bushing shells. Taking the parts to a shop with the proper equipment and experience to do this task may be the easiest thing to do if you can. I have a method that involves mangling the bushing in a vise, then hammering them out with a big punch and a really big hammer, but it's not pretty. I'd love to hear from anyone else if they have a better way to do this.

Be sure you don't tighten the bolts on the control arm bushings until the weight of the car is on the wheels and the car is sitting at normal ride height.

I've heard that one of our members in Germany (1960Fury) sells a improved version of idler arm ball bearing kit that uses sealed bearings. I haven't seen this kit in person, but if I were doing mine over, I'd investigate this option as it sounds like the best way to go.

I didn't see any mention of replacing the steering insulator. This is the rubber part that fits over the end of the steering shaft where it couples to the steering box input shaft. They are commonly worn out, causing excessive play in the steering. The part is cheap and available. If you are rebuilding everything else, you might as well do this one too. This thread describes in more detail. http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=25880&... See pic below:

Edited by Greg P. 2017-05-17 1:13 PM




(Steering insulator2-25%.jpg)



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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-05-17 7:22 PM (#540274 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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Yeah the steering shaft insulator is a candidate for repair and I like how some make it out of a impact resistant plastic or hard poly bushing.

Those solid idler arm kits are on ebay for 60$ see pic, the AC Delco bushing is a very hard almost poly idler arm bushing but i think is sold out,  Bernbaums is 31$ it may be the acdelco. The Rare parts(like 80$) looks like the factory rubber one.

Yes bushing removal is a pita... The uppers I was able to get out, the lower I am soaking for days but its going to be a bear of a job.

I need to borrow a bushing removal tool set. I don't know anyone who has one right now. I know snap on makes an amazing one but its a ton of money, this might do the job its 50$ ebay.



Edited by mikes2nd 2017-05-17 7:25 PM




(idlerarmkit60$.jpg)



(cheapkit.jpg)



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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-05-26 12:17 AM (#540923 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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Torsion bars.. You get them out simply by pulling the bar and the bracket up and out of the transmission crossmember, no hammer the bar back or anything just lift it out.(it might have road tar kind of holding it in.

Lower control arm bushings:To get the bushing out without a press if you don't have one.

take the rubber cover out of the hole

Cut the cotter pin with a chisel, pull the cotter pin pieces out with needle nose pliers

use a 15/16 socket down inside and undo the castle nut Remove the lower control arm rotation bar(that the nut was on)

drill out the bushing after you get clip out of the way pull out the center and rubber left over

flip it over and push the washer out of the way, and whack the outer shell of the bushing out... done.



Edited by mikes2nd 2017-05-26 12:19 AM




(cutcotterpin.jpg)



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(drillbushingrubberout.jpg)



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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-08-10 12:16 AM (#545930 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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doing the reassembly looking for sway bar bushings... ROFL "rare rip off parts"... That's a bit of a markup and things are finally going together

Sway bar bushings were 20$ for inner and outer sets.  5$ from amazon, 14$ from rockauto MEVOTECH MK7061 Supreme 



Edited by mikes2nd 2017-08-10 12:35 AM




(ROFL.jpg)



(frontassembly.jpg)



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ronbo97
Posted 2017-08-10 8:21 AM (#545941 - in reply to #545930)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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I had a machine shop do the UCA/LCA bushings, since I don't own a press. They charged me $80 to do all four arms. I supplied the bushings. Money well spent.

Center link not a wear item ? The ends get loose from wear, resulting in marginal steering. Either have your link rebuilt or get a new one.

Ron

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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-08-10 12:05 PM (#545955 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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my center link is rock solid after all these years, and this is per the docs they last a LONG time. if you look how they are mounted that makes sense,they dont move alot and they stay on the same plane.

inners and outer tie rods are moving in both directions.



Edited by mikes2nd 2017-08-10 12:24 PM
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jboymechanic
Posted 2017-08-10 3:04 PM (#545965 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...



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I'll be watching this one, hope to do the same one of these winters.
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1960fury
Posted 2017-08-10 7:05 PM (#545980 - in reply to #545955)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...



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mikes2nd - 2017-08-10 12:05 PM

my center link is rock solid after all these years, and this is per the docs they last a LONG time. if you look how they are mounted that makes sense,they dont move alot and they stay on the same plane.

inners and outer tie rods are moving in both directions.



OE 57-61? my experience is diametrically opposed. as a matter of fact the OE center links are a nightmare and german fl's always have problems with them passing the required biannual safety checks as the (OE) centre links have soft RUBBER bushings that can't be rock solid and always give some play, even when new. btw, the inner OE tie rod ends (ball joints) in my car are still good after 330+k miles.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2017-08-14 10:54 AM (#546170 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...



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I rolled the dice and bought one of these center links from PST, I'll let you know how good it is once it arrives. I have previously purchased inner tie rod ends from PST and was happy with them, hopefully the trend continues.

http://p-s-t.com/i-23158027-center-link.html
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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-08-14 11:24 AM (#546174 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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That PST one looks great. My center link of course moves but requires effort, just like a new ball joint, but center links only move on a parallel rotation, not like a ball joint that goes in all direction and is closer proximity to the hub/wheel. I have no idea how your center link wears out before your ball joint/tie rod ends. that doesn't make sense(unless you ball joints were much modern).

I have two center links and both are in great shape, no wiggle or play. A slightly longer thicker one is from a 120k mile Chrysler with a hemi.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-08-24 3:29 PM (#546917 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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Putting the torsion bars in today, I now realize what the rubber in the front torsion bar area is for, you will typically push it in there and potentially "bump" it or tap it forward with a hammer to get it to clear so you can put the clips in the back. This rubber is to protect the bar from getting damaged.
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jboymechanic
Posted 2017-08-25 11:32 AM (#546989 - in reply to #546174)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...



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My center link arrived and it appears to be a good, quality piece as well.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-08-25 1:27 PM (#547003 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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yeah they can be rebuilt fairly easily I think or maybe those are spanking new. my car is on the ground... way too low this suspension is pretty skinny compared to modern day. I have a C6 corvette front end on my 70 GTO and its a beast compared to this car. 

The keen eye will realize i went with a chrysler sway bar, its longer than the dodge plymouth so the mounting points will change forward.  I will make a heavy duty plate to mount it to up front and bolt it on to hold the two front braces.

I also put it under the strut bars instead of on top since there is no room up top.

 

 

 



Edited by mikes2nd 2017-08-25 1:29 PM




(ontheground.jpg)



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mikes2nd
Posted 2017-08-28 12:59 PM (#547196 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: Re: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...


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don't mix your torsion bars I swapped them. I noticed it wasn't wanting to raise easily so I stopped and double checked.

Of course I had them backwards.
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JimK
Posted 2017-10-09 9:18 AM (#550020 - in reply to #540028)
Subject: RE: The ultimate front end rebuild thread...



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Lots of hard work there. Good stuff!

A question, how did you make the connection with the Moog k5227 sway bar bushings and the Dodge?
Do they fit?

Thanks,

Jim K
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